MYSTERY WIRE — When the first component of the International Space Station was put into orbit 21 years ago, the station’s life expectancy was set at about 20 years. Surpassing those expectations, the station is headed toward a retirement date sometime in 2030.
A countdown clock on NASA’s website looks ahead to the 20th anniversary of the arrival of the first long-term residents on Nov. 2, 2000.
The ISS is a joint project of the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada. It has hosted 239 people visitors from 19 countries, many of whom made more than a single trip:
2 Russians with 5 trips:
- Yuri Malenchenko
- Fyodor Yurchikhin
There are 6 astronauts who have made 4 trips:
- Americans: Mark E. Kelly, Richard A. Mastracchio, Frederick W. Sturckow, Jeffrey N. Williams
- Russians: Oleg Kononenko, Gennady Padalka with 4 trips
Visitors who have made 3 trips:
20 Americans, 8 Russians, 2 Italians and 1 from Japan
The station was most recently in the news when Christina Koch and Jessica Meir made the first all-female spacewalk.
The International Space Station circles the Earth in roughly 92 minutes and completes 15.5 orbits per day at an average altitude of 250 miles.
For additional information, visit the ISS section of NASA’s website.